Organizations jettison IT projects in favor of agile, product-based approach to deliver IT services to improve efficiency and user outcomes [#AgileProjects #AgileOrganizations #AgileNewsAndViews]

ORGANIZATIONS JETTISON IT PROJECTS IN FAVOR OF AGILE, PRODUCT-BASED APPROACH TO DELIVER IT SERVICES TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY AND USER OUTCOMES [#AgileProjects #AgileOrganizations #AgileNewsAndViews]

1. DEVELOP THE RIGHT PLAN, SKILL SETS
2. SET A VISION, KEEP WORKING AT IT
3. HOLD TRUE TO TRADITIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES
4. CONFIRM WHETHER PRODUCT FITS MARKET NEEDS
5. THINK OF A PRODUCT AS A LIVING, BREATHING THING

Organizations are shifting from big, monolithic projects with corresponding large-scale, high-risk deployments to a product mindset, where teams own a function, capability or service from its start to finish.

1. DEVELOP THE RIGHT PLAN, SKILL SETS

Early 2018:
Software maker Ellucian decided to improve how customers reached the company. So Ellucian leaders decided to implement a new “customer center experience” – a front-end with a single landing page that used uniform easy-to-understand language.

Primary Goal:
To improve customer experience.

February 2019:
First iteration of the product launched.

Plan:

Step 1: Getting alignment:
Making sure the understanding by the staff of the problem the technology aims to solve is the same as the view of the business and making sure everyone agreed on the objectives of the product.

Step 2: Analyzing plans and Testing out ideas:
Through proof of concept – asking whether the planned product would actually address the problem and offer a fix.

Step 3: Desiging platform:
Designing appropriate technology platform along with an appropriate budget and timeline to deliver.

Skills:

Software engineers should have

    financial acumen
    understanding of business processes
    process re-engineering capabilities
    traditional change management skills

2. SET A VISION, KEEP WORKING AT IT

2018:
GoDaddy, the Internet domain registrar and web-hosting company, decided to move from on-premises systems to the public cloud (more specifically AWS), in part to gain agility.

Primary Goal:
To increase the speed of delivering new features and functions to their customers.

Developers in the new environment had to manually create the infrastructure they needed — an inefficient process.

Solution:
Devise a portal that automates that process.

January 2019:
Started work on the product.

April 2019:
Launched the first iteration of the product.

Vision:
Within six hours of the employee having the budget approved, they could have the environment to work in sitting on the public cloud.

Then they developed ways to support users as they learned to use the product, setting clear goals for each phase as they rolled out the first version of the portal to a limited number of users and planned for rolling out advanced iterations to more users.

3. HOLD TRUE TO TRADITIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES

SolarWinds follows these principles when developing products and readying them for their launches.

The fundamental elements – traditional project management activities about:

• getting business alignment / stakeholder alignment
• getting active executive sponsorship
• testing
• demoing
• handling change management

remain important.

4. CONFIRM WHETHER PRODUCT FITS MARKET NEEDS

CarGurus, an automotive research and shopping website, considers a product “a collection of features that contribute to our overall business proposition.”

• Rapid prototyping and market testing
• Constant result measuring
• Collaboration across teams

are all components to make sure that a product launch is successful and meets market needs.

5. THINK OF A PRODUCT AS A LIVING, BREATHING THING

2011:
Capital One started adopting agile principles.

The technology teams moved away from monolithic IT assets and large-scale projects to focusing on smaller elements, or products.

These products feed up into larger programs that deliver the features, functions and services that both company employees and its customers need to accomplish their tasks.

This helps them think of a product as a living, breathing thing that does not have an end date or start date but instead advances.

ADAPTED FROM

IT as a product: Secrets of successful launches:
https://www.cio.com/article/3400838/it-as-a-product-secrets-of-successful-launches.html

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